Canada’s ‘Idle No More’ Movement Spreads Like Wildfire
Chief Theresa Spence on 14th day of hunger strike
- Craig Brown, staff writer
The ‘Idle No More’ movement, a campaign of grassroots First Nations protests, has spread like wildfire over the past week in response to bills passed by the conservative Canadian government.
First Nations protesters march towards Parliament Hill during a demonstration as part of the spreading ‘Idle No More’ movement in Ottawa, Canada, December 21, 2012. REUTERS/Chris Wattie Anger to the recently passed C-45, the Harper government omnibus budget bill, has fueled the growing movement.
Bil C-45 includes changes to the Canadian Indian Act regarding how reserve lands are managed, making them easier to develop and be taken away from the First Nation people.
The bill also removes thousands of lakes and streams from the list of federally protected bodies of water. “This is unacceptable. They have made a unilateral decision remove the protection of waterways… Shell Canada has proposed to mine out 21km of the Muskeg River, a river of cultural and biological significance. This ultimately gives the tar sands industry a green light to destroy vital waterways still used by our people,” stated Eriel Deranger, Communication Coordinator for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation.
Atiwapiskat First Nation Chief Theresa Spence has been on a hunger strike since December 11th, resolved to starve herself to death unless Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets to discuss treaty rights, and Canada’s relationship with its Indigenous peoples. She is currently living in a teepee on Victoria Island, in Ottawa, just a kilometer away from the Parliament buildings. So far, Harper has rejected calls to meet with Spence.
Chief Spence tweeted on Sunday, the 13th day of her hunger strike:
Grassroots and leaders plse keep the pressure and momentum going #idlenomore “I am still strong and will not give up!”
Thanks to: http://2012indyinfo.com